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10 Failure-Proof Tips to Run a Successful Shopify Store

Iyabo Oyawale Sep 4, 2022 5 minutes read

Wondering how to succeed with Shopify? Wonder no more as we provide time-tested tips to run a profitable Shopify store. Let’s dive in, without further ado.

1. Secure Your Audience

You don’t want to wait till your store opens to begin spreading the word about it. This was exactly what Richard Saghian, the CEO of Fashion Nova did when he started. He opened the first Fashion Nova store in 2006 at the Panorama Mall in Panorama City, California.

 Around 2013, he noticed web sites that sold the same product as his stores, but were moving more of it at higher price points. He began to consider an eCommerce site, but understood he needed to find a way to direct people to it. 

Saghian decided to utilize Instagram and would post pictures of his best-selling pieces on models. He had a decent following by the time he launched the website.

In an interview, he said: “I had 60,000 followers on Instagram before I launched the site. I kept delaying it because I don’t think I believed it was going to do this well.”

Saghian eventually went live with in 2013 and sold out of everything over the course of a weekend. 

As the company grew, so did the Instagram followers. Today, the company has over 21 million Instagram followers.

You can also use that strategy. Get on social media. Collect email addresses. Engage influencers. Collaborate with bloggers. Create a buzz and sensation around the opening of the store.

And, if your online store is already open, still get onto social media to find and retain your audience.


Marketing is the key to the long-term success of any business.

2. Provide a Superlative Experience 

An excellent user experience is a no-brainer. You might need the help of a developer with this.

* Create a website with easy navigation and original photos (to make customers have a feel of what your products look like). Stock photos are a no-no.

* Provide detailed product descriptions and sell a lifestyle to your customers.

* Optimize your website for mobile (so that customers can access through their smart phones and tablets).

* Have a friction-less checkout so shoppers don’t abandon cart.

* Invest in excellent customer support. Offer both email and phone support, so that customers can call before and after a purchase. Also, find the time to reply direct messages and comments on all Social Media channels. You can hire a customer support team, if you have the finances to do so.

* Provide effective security (by investing in SSL certificate and working with third-party security to keep your customers’ information secure).

* Invest in custom packaging to deepen customer loyalty.

Make it worthwhile to do business with you. Make it fun to shop with you.

Excellent customer experience is the key to referrals and exponential growth. 

Make customers your priority and communicate with them regularly.

When customers are happy with your business, they’ll gladly tell others about it.

3. Use the Right Integrations

The Shopify platform is extremely customizable. It has thousands of plugins and integrations you can use to improve your site’s functionality and engage your audience. The key is to select the right ones.

One integration you absolutely need is some sort of email marketing system. Whether it’s Constant Contact, AWeber, or one of the dozens of other systems out there, integrating your chosen platform into your store allows you to collect lead information and send out targeted campaigns (including automated cart abandonment sequences).

Other integrations include countdown timers, social networking integrations that let people leave reviews, POS software for tracking inventory, drop shipping marketplaces, etc.

4. Experiment with Multiple Traffic Sources

Experiment with both paid and organic traffic sources.  

Try paid search, TV ads, organic search, podcast ads, social media, paid ads, influencer marketing, direct mail, email marketing, content marketing, radio ads, YouTube ads, etc, and see how they perform.

You see, nothing works until you work it out.

So, go out there and promote your Shopify store.

In the book titled: “Shopify Store Secrets: The Essential Startup Guide to Build, Launch and Grow a Profitable Online Store with Shopify”, Evan Jones says you need advertising for your business to succeed. And that you should have an advertising budget to keep a steady flow of new business to your online store.

He recommends “Google Ads, TV, Radio, Facebook, Yahoo!, Bing! AOL, PPC (Pay Per Click), Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, and Mobile.”

Finally, he says that store owners should consider their target audience before deciding on where to advertise.

5. Leverage Social Proof

The numbers for using social proof are massive. 

“71% of people are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals. 91% of shoppers read at least one review before making a purchase. 80% of US shoppers seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind” (according to Shopify).

So, how can you use social proof?

How to Use Social Proof on Your Shopify Store

* Publish guest posts on authority websites and display their logo on your store.

*Use reviews on your product pages.

* Leverage user generated content on Social Media.

* Engage influencers to promote your brand.

* Share customer success stories.

BurstCommerce also provides the best social proof examples below:

a. Highlight Your Best Sellers


Your best selling products have built-in social proof. These are the products that are already selling well. So highlighting their popularity can make them sell even better, thanks to social proof.

The easiest way to promote your best sellers is by adding best selling badges to your products. You can also organize your best sellers into one or more Shopify collections to make them easy to find all in one place.

This is the same technique used by the retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart.

b. Highlight Your Recent Sales


Showing recent sales within your Shopify store is a great way for customers to see what other shoppers are buying.

Displaying recent sales activity in real-time can also convey that your store is a popular venue for shoppers.

c. Add Social Buttons


You can add social buttons to your Shopify product pages for popular social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

These buttons display the number of likes, tweets, and pins your product has received which is a great social indicator that others are interested in your product.

d. Highlight Your Product Ratings & Reviews

Product ratings and reviews let shoppers know how other customers liked a product after purchasing. Since ratings and reviews (typically) happen post-purchase, they provide an additional layer of social proof so shoppers can trust a product is well received.

e. Use Customer Photos


If you are selling products that photograph well (such as t-shirts, hats, apparel), customer photos are a great way to showcase your products in action by real customers.

Customer photos are a great way to provide instant social proof of your products in use in the real world by people. 

When done well, this can be a powerful combination where your happy, smiling customers are putting your products on display in a positive way.

6. Analyze Your Performance

To test the performance of your website, you can begin with a straightforward service like Google Analytics and build it up from there.

Ensure that your analytics delivers insights on your page loading to the checkout process and everything in between.

* Test and track everything you do.

* Watch how your paid campaigns are performing.

* Test your products and ditch the ones that do not fly.

* Analyze the performance of your organic channels.

So, What Metrics Should You Measure to Run a Successful eCommerce Store?

BigCommerce provides a comprehensive list, which includes:

* Impressions.

* Reach.

* Engagement.

* Email click-through-rate.

* Cost per acquisition (CPA).

* Organic acquisition traffic.

* Social media engagement.

* Abandonment.

* Micro to macro conversion rates.

* Average order value (AOV).

* Sales conversion rates.

* Customer Retention rate.

* Customer lifetime value (CLV).

* Repeat customer rate.

* Refund and return rate.

* Ecommerce churn rate.

* Net promoter score (NPS).

* Subscription rate.

* Program participation rate.

While noting that eCommerce metrics are different from eCmmerce KPIs, BigCommerce opines that there is no clear cut answer to the question: How Often Should I Check My eCommerce Metrics?

The eCommerce giant says 'it depends."

And that some can be checked weekly, while others can be checked bi-weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

7. Find Your Competitive Advantage

Shopify is big in the eCommerce world. 1.75 million Merchants sell on the Shopify platform while 1.59 million live websites use Shopify (according toBacklinko).

It’s popularly used for web development after WordPress and WooCommerce.

So, how do you make your store stand out?

Jamie Phoenix offers interesting insights in his book titled: “How To Start an Online Store With Shopify: a Complete Guide to Successful Online Store.”

He says you should:

* Go Above & Beyond with Customer Experience

* Create a Winning Brand

* Make Your Marketing Memorable

* Create a Compelling Blog

* Make Your Company an Expert in your Field

* Develop a Unique Value Proposition

* Cultivate Your "X-Factor"

At the end of the day, it boils down to spotting out your competitive advantage and leveraging it heavily.

So, what is your competitive edge and how do you spot it?

In his book titled: “The Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance”, Michael E. Porter listed 3 generic strategies for a competitive advantage.

He named them as cost leadership, differentiation, and focus.

MindTools breaks down the strategies as follows:

The Cost Leadership Strategy

* Increasing profits by reducing costs, while charging industry-average prices.

* Increasing market share by charging lower prices, while still making a reasonable profit on each sale because you've reduced costs.

The Differentiation Strategy

* Good research, development, and innovation.

* The ability to deliver high-quality products or services.

* Effective sales and marketing, so that the market understands the benefits offered by the differentiated offerings.

The Focus Strategy

Companies that use Focus strategies concentrate on particular niche markets and, by understanding the dynamics of that market and the unique needs of customers within it, develop uniquely low-cost or well-specified products for the market.

8. Watch Your Financials

This is a no-brainer as the success and failure of your online store relies on it. BigCommerce offers some interesting insights on this.

It says you should do the following:

a) Categorize all transactions as it helps to estimate your regular and one-off expenses as well as monthly revenues. You can then use these figures to assess your online business income statement, plan for your taxes, and create a business budget.

b) Maintain a business budget. It helps to:

* Monitor your cash flow patterns.

* Stay atop of all recurring and unplanned expenses.

* Know when to splurge and when to pedal back.

* Set some income aside for the rainy day (and taxes).

* Avoid or reduce business debt.

* Stay focused on long-term financial goals.

c) Stay up-to-date with taxes, both local and state taxes (to stay on the good side of the Law).

d) Distinguish between returns and chargebacks. Categorize the refund transaction under “Returns and Allowances” and subtract it directly for your revenue. Categorize all the chargebacks as “Returns and Allowances.” Also, if the chargeback included an extra fee, mark it as a business expense.

e) Practice accurate record keeping by recording the following:

* Receipts, bills, and invoices.

* Canceled and bounced checks.

* Previous tax returns.

* W2 and 1099 forms.

* Bank account, debit/credit card statements.

* Account statements from online payment wallets.

* Revenue records from your ecommerce platform such as Shopify.

And that all of these records should be kept for at least 3 years.

9. Learn from Successful Shopify Stores

It’s always best to learn from those ahead of us in any venture in life. Invest time in getting knowledge about Shopify stores and how they run smoothly. This can either be free or paid. You can listen, watch, and read. Just do what works for you!

The Shopify Learn Page has many free courses. You can check them out!

Remember to implement what you learn because “the goal of all learning is action, not knowledge” (quote by John C. Maxwell).

You Can Also Learn from the Following Videos:

10. Increase Your AOV

AOV stands for average order value and it’s a metric for measuring the average total of every order placed with an eCommerce merchant over a defined period of time. AOV is one of the most important metrics for online stores that want to grow.

In their book titled: “Conversion Optimization: The Art and Science of Converting Prospects to Customers,” authors Saleh Khalid and Ayat Shukairy said some conversion optimization projects focus on increasing the average order value as opposed to increasing the number of orders. And that “most companies consider that increasing the average order value is more challenging than increasing conversion rates.”

But, the Zoorix app makes it easy. It helps to increase your AOV. Cross-selling is also made easy with the app. And, you can start using it right away! No credit card is required. You can sign up in minutes! Just click here!

Final Thoughts

Make your Shopify store a success by using the following tips:

1. Secure Your Audience

2. Provide a Superlative Experience 

3. Use the Right Integrations

4. Experiment with Multiple Traffic Sources

5. Leverage Social Proof

6. Analyze Your Performance

7. Find Your Competitive Advantage

8. Watch Your Financials

9. Learn from Successful Shopify Stores

10. Increase Your AOV

So, which of these tips are you going to begin with?

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